Thursday, July 11, 2013

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: A Green Diamond Ring, 1840

Green Diamond Ring
With Rose-cut Accents
Setting, 1840
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Crafted in England in 1840, this gold ring is set with a rectangular, cushion-shaped, light green diamond, surrounded by six rose-cut diamonds. This is another ring from the collection of the Reverend Chauncy Hare Townshend who bequeathed his unparalleled assortment of gemstones to the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Most notable in the Reverend’s collection are the colored diamonds. These had previously been part of the famous Hope collection of gemstones and were later acquired by Townsend. The collection entered the V&A in 1869 and, since then, have attracted the attention of many gemologists because of the fact that their brilliant colors have not been enhanced by any artificial means.

Some of Townsend's Colored Diamonds
As we know, Diamonds occur naturally in a variety of colors: colorless, yellow, brown, black, blue, green, pink, violet and the extremely rarely red. Variations of these colors exist, but are rare. For example, yellow-green or blue-violet stones are quite unusual. This ring has a light green stone with a slight yellow cast to it. Green color in diamonds is caused by prolonged exposure to natural radiation. This radiation, however, often does not penetrate evenly through the stone. Therefore, such evenness in color (especially without artificial enhancement) makes the stone all the more valuable.

No comments: